Born in Brooklyn, ROBERT PAUL ABELSON is a graduate of New York City’s Boys’ High School and City University. He graduated from Hebrew Union College-School of Sacred Music in 1957, and has served on its faculty for many years. A member of the New York City Opera for many seasons, he has also sung with other prestigious opera companies, including the Seattle Opera, the St. Paul Opera, the Lake George Opera, the Memphis Opera, and the Goldovsky Opera Theatre. He has appeared in concert with the Philadelphia Orchestra, the Dallas Symphony, and the Mostly Mozart Festival, and in productions of Gilbert and Sullivan operettas. Robert Abelson has specialized in performing and coaching Yiddish art songs, and under the guidance of the late, distinguished composer, Lazar Weiner, has had the opportunity to premiere many of Mr. Weiner’s inspiring compositions. He has appeared extensively in film, television, and the theatre. He starred in the Yiddish Theatre review, On Second Avenue, which recently completed a nationwide tour, and appeared in a leading role in the musical hit, Those Were the Days. He can be heard on several recordings from the Milken Archive Project. He is a board member of the American Society of Jewish music. Robert Paul Abelson serves as cantor of Temple Israel of the City of New York.
Pianist, arranger, and conductor, JOYCE ROSENZWEIG, studied piano performance at Oberlin Conservatory and Manhattan School of Music, choral conducting at Westminster Choir College, Yiddish at Oxford University and the Jewish Theological Seminary, and art song and chamber music at the Banff Centre of the Arts (Canada), the Cleveland Orchestra’s Blossom Music Festival, and the Franz Schubert Institute (Vienna), where she was awarded first prize in lieder accompaniment. She has collaborated in chamber music recitals with ensembles from the New York Philharmonic and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and appeared as soloist with the New Orleans Philharmonic and Texas Festival Orchestra.
A leading figure in Jewish music, Joyce is a sought-after accompanist, conductor, master class presenter, arranger, lecturer, coach, and authority on Jewish art and synagogue music. She has collaborated in concert with most of the great cantors of this generation. She has been featured at the International Jewish Music Festival (Amsterdam), the Jewish Cultural Festival (Berlin), the Ashkenaz Festival (Toronto), the Chicago and Charlotte Yiddish Institutes, Klezkamp, the North American Jewish Choral Festival, and at annual cantorial conventions for both the Conservative and Reform movements. She was the featured conductor at the recent URJ Biennial in San Diego. Her recent concert tours have taken her to Prague, Budapest, Jerusalem, Tel-Aviv, Montreal, Halifax, Boston, Houston, Providence, and Washington D.C. Ms. Rosenzweig is a dedicated educator of cantors and synagogue musicians, having served for over twenty-five years on the faculty of Hebrew Union College-School of Sacred Music in New York, where she holds the title of Artist-in-Residence. She has also been a faculty member at the Jewish Theological Seminary since 2004, and has served as Music Director of Congregation Beth Simchat Torah in Manhattan since 1994.